US sends strong message to Raila ahead of planned swearing-in

The US message comes after a crucial meeting between Raila and the US top African diplomat.

The US has asked Odinga to call off his planned swearing-in warning that the move will only serve to further polarise the already divided country.

Principal Deputy assistant Secretary at the US government’s Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto said this during a meeting with Mr Odinga, Nasa principals Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana representing Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka according to The Nation.

Venue of meeting

The crucial meeting took place at the US Ambassador Robert Godec’s residence where Yamamoto warned of consequences for the country's top leadership who fail to engage in consultative dialogue to bring the divided country back together.

The US top diplomat is said to have indicated that defiant individuals may face unspecified sanctions from President Donald Trump’s administration.

While congratulating President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto after their inauguration, the US said it looked forward to strengthening and renewing the bilateral partnership with Kenya in the years ahead.

US concerns

However the US government also expressed concern over the ongoing political tensions in the country and use of unnecessary force against citizens by security officers and urged for national dialogue as part of the process of addressing these tensions.

"We urge Kenyans to join together to hold an immediate, sustained, and open national conversation to heal divisions between communities. We encourage all Kenyans to come together at this critical moment and to work together peacefully and uphold the constitution,” the statement read in part..

Odinga last week announced that he will be sworn in as President of the Republic of Kenya on Jamuhuri Day.

"I am not a coward, I will be sworn as president on Jamhuri Day, I am the legitimate president," Odinga declared.

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